Are you tired of watching your website’s performance lag behind the competition? Do you wish you could pinpoint exactly what’s holding it back and make the necessary improvements? Look no further! The solution to your woes is an SEO audit, an essential step to unlocking your website’s full potential.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down every aspect of conducting an SEO audit, equipping you with actionable insights to optimize your website and climb the search engine rankings. Let’s dive in!
What Is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is an in-depth analysis of your website’s performance in terms of SEO. It is a complete review of your website’s technical, on-page, and off-page factors that impact its visibility to search engines. The audit report will identify the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats to your website’s SEO and suggest actionable recommendations to improve its overall performance.
How to Perform an SEO Audit
Performing an SEO audit may seem overwhelming given the many factors that can impact your website’s rankings, but it is crucial for the success of your website. Below is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to perform an SEO audit for your website.
1. Verify If There Are HTTPS-Related Issues
Start your audit by analyzing and verifying your site’s SSL certificate. Your website should have a valid SSL certificate and load with HTTPS to avoid the “Not secure” warning. You should also ensure that HTTPS migration is done correctly and there are no mixed content errors.
By having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate or HTTP Secure (HTTPS) protocol in place, you can secure your website’s connection and protect your users’ data.
2. Evaluate Your Organic Traffic
To understand how well your website is performing in terms of organic traffic, it’s important to review the traffic source report in Google Analytics. Analyze the trend of organic traffic over time and look for any recent drops in traffic. This analysis will help you assess how your SEO efforts impact your website’s organic traffic.
Additionally, you can identify specific pages that are driving traffic and assess any changes in traffic over time. By comparing month-over-month or year-over-year data, you can identify significant drop-offs and determine where to focus your optimization efforts.
3. Identify and Resolve Indexing Issues
Do a quick search of “site:yourdomain.com” on Google, and check the number of pages that appear in the search engine. If the number of pages is less than expected, you may have indexing issues.
Check if there’s a Robots.txt file available or if it is blocking Google bots from crawling necessary website pages. Check to make sure all the necessary pages are indexed in the search console.
4. Ensure That Google Indexes Only One Version Of Your Website
To avoid duplicate content issues that can hurt your SEO performance, choose a preferred version of your website (with or without www) and ensure that all important pages on your site resolve to that version. This will ensure that Google indexes only one version of your website, even if you have multiple versions such as http:// and https:// with and without www.
5. Conduct a Site Crawl and Check for Sitemap Issues
Conduct a comprehensive site crawl using third-party tools like Screaming Frog or Ahrefs to identify any other technical issues that may frustrate users or search engines. Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console, allowing search spiders to crawl your website effortlessly.
6. Review and Address Manual Actions
Google Search Console may flag issues requiring attention, like broken links, penalties, and manual actions on your website. Check these to ensure your site is appearing in SERPs.
7. Inspect for Mobile-Friendliness Issues
A mobile-friendly website is critical for a positive user experience and SEO ranking, especially with the increasing number of users accessing websites through mobile devices. To ensure your site is mobile-friendly, inspect for mobile-friendliness issues and check if it’s responsive on various mobile devices and tablets. Doing so ensures that your website is user-friendly and meets Google’s Mobile-Friendly test requirements.
8. Analyze Your Site’s Speed
9. Check Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals combines three important page speed measurements used by Google: LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). Improving these factors will boost the overall page experience. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check and find actionable insights.
10. Search for Broken Pages
Use tools such as Check My Links or Ahrefs to identify broken links (404 errors) on your website. Crawl all the broken pages and 404 errors on your site, and determine whether to remove them, redirect them to a live page, or keep them.
11. Check Basic On-Page Elements
Check the title tag, meta description tag, header tags, page content, and images for relevant information. Ensure there are no duplicates and all elements are optimized for the targeted topics and keywords.
12. Address any Other Technical Issues
Identify any technical issues, including URL structure, schema markup, and canonicalization. Address these issues according to Google’s standards.
13. Examine for Declining Content
Analyze your website’s content using Google Analytics to find out if there are pages that are experiencing a decline in traffic. Updating your declining content can improve traffic and help you get back on track.
14. Identify Content Gaps and Keywords You’re Missing Out On
To improve your website’s search result relevance, analyze content gaps using a professional keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs. Evaluate competitor keywords you are not ranking for, and conduct research to discover new keywords with search volume and intent.
15. Conduct Competitor Analysis and Benchmark Against Your Competitors
Identify your top competitors and evaluate their SEO strategies. Compare your website to theirs to gain insight into your strengths and weaknesses. Create a benchmark report based on factors such as backlinks, page speed, etc.
16. Identify Link Building Opportunities and Find Missed Backlink Opportunities
Analyze your backlink profile to determine the links that could be broken or spammy and need to be removed. Identify backlink opportunities through outreach, partner pages, and guest posting. Also, consider the broken links of your competitors for potential link-building opportunities.
17. Audit and Improve Your Top Pages
Evaluate the top pages on your website based on traffic and rankings. Optimize these pages for better rankings, improving user experience, and increasing conversions.
18. Monitor Your Rankings
To effectively measure the success of your SEO strategy, it is important to track the performance of your website’s targeted keywords and other key performance indicators (KPIs) over time. To achieve this, you can use an SEO keyword tracking tool to monitor your website’s keyword rankings, website traffic, conversions, and other KPIs.
By doing so, you can gain valuable insights into your SEO strategy’s effectiveness, identify improvement areas, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your website’s performance.
Why SEO Audit is Important?
SEO audits are critical to a website’s overall health and success. By evaluating a website’s technical and content issues, an SEO audit can improve website visibility in search engine results, increase website traffic, and boost conversion rates. Keeping your website optimized helps you rank higher in search engine results and ensures a great user experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About SEO Audit
If you’re looking to optimize your website’s organic search traffic, there’s no better place to start than with an SEO audit. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand the process.
How Often Should I Perform an SEO Audit?
You should perform an SEO audit at least once a year or more frequently if you make significant changes to your website.
What Are the Benefits of Conducting an SEO Audit?
Conducting an SEO audit helps identify your website’s technical and content issues. It can help improve your website’s visibility in search results, bring in more organic traffic, and increase conversions on your website.
Can I Perform an SEO Audit Myself?
Yes, you can perform your own SEO audit, particularly if you have some technical expertise in website optimization. However, if you’re not confident or comfortable conducting an SEO audit alone, don’t worry! Responsive Web Developer can help. Our team of experts can conduct a comprehensive SEO audit for your website and work with you on improving your website’s SEO. Contact us today to learn more and improve your website’s online presence!
How Do I Get Started With an SEO Audit?
To get started with an SEO audit, assess your website’s technical health and content strategy. Then, use the checklist of items outlined in this article to audit your website and optimize it for higher search engine rankings.
An SEO audit can be a time-consuming process, but it is necessary for the success of any website. By following the recommendations in this article, you can ensure your website is optimized for higher search engine rankings and provides a great user experience for your visitors.